Friday, 18 February 2011

Cyclists plan action against cycle lane closure in Brighton & Hove: Sat 19 Feb 2011

Green Councillor Ian Davey announced a "mini action" to protest against the planned closure of the Drive cycle lane - cyclists and others will meet on  Saturday 19th February at 12 noon.

Councillor Davey said: "Support the campaign to stop the scrapping of the cycle lane on The Drive in Hove. Join us at the corner of The Drive and Cromwell Road for a mini action. Don't forget your bike."

He also asked those who support the campaign to sign a petition at .

Brighton and Hove city council is controlled by a minority Conservative administration that over the past year has cancelled a series of pro-cycling initiatives in the City, including the strategic Old Shoreham Road Cycle Lane Scheme which had funding from Cycling England.

The administration's 2011 budget, released Friday 11 Feb, revealed plans to spend £1.1m removing the cycle lanes. The reason cited for the removal is "In order to improve the visual impact and traffic flow along this important north – south corridor including access to the A27 / A23 from the A259 /Shoreham Harbour".

A press release issued by Green transport spokesperson Cllr Ian Davey and Goldsmid ward councillor Cllr Alex Phillips said the Conservative administration is wasting public money and increasing danger to road users and residents.

Cllr Davey said: "They claim to be responding to residents' safety concerns, yet casualties have reduced since the cycle lanes went in. Widening the road will increase both traffic speed and volume. The Tories are encouraging its use as a route to and from Shoreham Harbour. Much of this traffic will be heavy vehicles. The proposals will make this road more dangerous for all road users and residents and rob families of a safe cycle route to the seafront."

The Drive cycle lanes are protected lanes that divide cyclists from motor traffic. They were part of a long term project to increase sustainable transport and cycling in the city, and were part funded with money from Cycling England. Cllr Davey said: “These cycle lanes were put in by the same Conservative administration in 2008 at a cost of over £600,000. To spend nearly twice as much now taking them out again is sheer madness."

Green ward councillor Alex Phillips added: "With the council strapped for cash for vital services, there are better ways to spend this money.”

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